According to J.P. Morgan's Top 200 Female-Powered Businesses Report, there are 40,000 companies in the United Kingdom that can be classified as high-growth. Of these, 10,647 are founded, led, owned, or managed by women. While women-powered businesses are a significant contributor to the UK economy — they employ almost 700,000 individuals (or 2.79% of the nation’s workforce) and generate £84.7 billion in combined sales — they still face huge hurdles on their path to success. For example, for every £1 invested in the form of venture capital, less than 1 pence goes to all-female led teams!
So when Oliver Gregson, the Region Head of the United Kingdom, Ireland & Channel Islands at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, reached out a few days ago congratulating Juriba on the achievement of being named number 19 in the UK's High Growth, Women-Powered Businesses in the above report, I couldn't have been prouder of the company I work for and the amazing people I work with every day.
"The global community has endured major disruptions over the past two years—and these have taken a significant human and economic toll. From the COVID-19 pandemic to the war now in Ukraine, we have witnessed global communities experience difficult and heartbreaking realities. As we continue to grapple with current crises and the recovery of our global economy, it is critical to acknowledge that women have been hit hard by job losses, health concerns, and dislocations from their families.
While women have shown great resilience, they continue to need support to get back on track with their careers, finances, and well-being. At JPMorgan Chase, recognizing women’s resilience and critical role in the community and on the road to recovery is more important than ever."
Samantha Saperstein, Head of Women on the Move at JPMorgan Chase
While more women than ever before hold mid-market managerial roles in the UK (26% of UK's CEOs are female), only 3% of Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) or Technical Director roles are held by women. I am proud that not only Juriba's co-founder and Chief Product Officer Julia Bell is an inspiring female technologist, leader, and role model heading up a large product team of 80 developers, but also Stella Donoghue serves on the Juriba Board as Chair. So, this isn't a small feat!
"I am very proud to be Chair of the Juriba board. For a technology business, it is relatively unusual not to be the only female on the board, and that is a testament to the open, diverse culture at Juriba. It is a business where people are judged on their ability – not their gender or background."
Stella Donoghue, Chair at Juriba
The product team isn't the only team at Juriba led by a woman. Our Head of Professional Services, Fay Sutton, is another fantastic example of female leadership within Juriba. Her story is that of countless other women who have successfully balanced their work and private life if properly supported:
"I started in Juriba in Jan. 2018 as a customer success manager but within a year, I was heading up Professional Services and running a team of 15 consultants. Working for Juriba feels refreshing after working in the local government. I feel well supported and listened to, there is no red tape, and you have access to people across the company regardless of their position.
The work-life balance has been brilliant. I am a mother of 2 teenagers and I help care for an elderly mother. Juriba trusts me to manage my workload and supports me when I need to run kids about or check up on my mum. I am at home when the kids get back and can always attend important events they are part of. I also do a lot of sports to keep fit, but also to maintain mental well-being. They are happy for me to take some time at lunch or first thing in the morning to have a run. I have recently experienced a bit of a rough patch with menopause and the support through healthcare initiatives has been invaluable. The other women in the team also help each other out and offer support.
While I work in a very male-dominated environment, it has never felt like that. I think having one of the founding members being female has helped."
But I know this isn't all happening by accident. The technology sector in the United Kingdom employs nearly three million people, but only 26% of them are women. About one-third of women will quit working in the tech sector because of the male-dominated "bro culture", unfavorable work-life balance, ineffective executive feedback, and the still-existing gender gap when it comes to salary.
A few years back, Julia Bell wrote on the Ivanti blog about those very same barriers women have to overcome working in the technology space successfully for a long time. It all comes down to company culture. I am very proud of the company culture we have carefully nurtured. At Juriba, team members are:
- Frequently speaking their minds openly and frankly without fear of negative consequences,
- Encouraged to challenge the status quo, call out unconstructive or inefficient patterns and processes
- Enjoying the freedom to try new things, think creatively, and work independently to pursue a common goal,
- Collaborating with each other seamlessly while working 100% remotely, and
- Recognised as having a voice, with frequent opportunities to connect directly with the executive team
About being recognized, Julia Bell says:
"It's incredibly important that technology companies and the institutions that back them financially continue to recognize businesses that have built their success on a platform of diversity. It's a mistake to assume that the profile of leadership that succeeded 50, or even 20, years ago is still right for today. Diversity is not a tick in a box, organizations that fail to support women at all levels risk stifling innovation, missing out on some of today's best talent, and ultimately inhibiting growth.
I would like to thank Oliver Gregson and all those at J.P. Morgan Private Bank both for recognizing Juriba and for putting the success of many other female-led companies in the spotlight."